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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Tv Series - 1x03 "The Asset" - Ign.com Review

Tuesday 15 October 2013, by Webmaster

SHIELD gave us our first genuine supervillain origin story this week, pulling a pretty notable character from Marvel Comics into the series and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (As an aside, I have recently been reading the West Coast Avengers Omnibus, so I was particularly amused to Graviton pop up here).

If you know your Marvel history, you might have known who Dr. Franklin Hall was right away – or had your memories jostled by all this talk of “Gravitonium.” But if not, I think the episode worked pretty well in presenting the obvious, flashy villain, in Ian Quinn (David Conrad, doing good work with his character’s laid back approach to his grandiose plans) and hiding the true “This guy’s about to become super powerful” character under our noses. Like the pilot, this episode of SHIELD had some good veer left when it looks like you’re veering right moments, including Skye basically revealing the truth about her double agent status to Quinn – but as a ruse to get him to drop his guard – and Hall turning out to have planned his capture in the first place.

This show still needs to figure out the proper amount of jokiness. I like the sense of humor and the lighthearted approach, but there are scenes where it goes just a beat or two too far. Skye’s speech about Ward bing a good “big brother” seemed like a horribly cheesy callback, until it turned into a purposely (and legitimately) funny moment as she lost her own metaphor. But then there were more moments involving her big, comic reaction to not being able to shoot Quinn that just overdid it.

Also, there are too many Avengers references. Hall mentioning the alien invasion would have been fine on its own, but what was with Coulson bringing up the “plenty of action” he saw with the Avengers? Which wasn’t even all that true, as I recall… It would have made more sense for Coulson to just evoke dangerous situations he’s been in with May herself, since it’s easy to assume those do exist.

While Fitz and Simmons still need to be better defined than “Adorably dorky”, they both had some good lines this week, including Simmons’ “Saying his name repeatedly does not increase productivity!” and Fitz just getting to the point, accidentally, when he stammered, “Probably using her… uh… her boobs.”

Moments like the trucker who turned out to be a SHIELD agent and Coulson and Hall’s confrontation on the ceiling of a gravity-deprived room continue to make this show very fun, and it should be exciting to see where they go with Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell himself!) as Graviton down the line. You’ve got to watch out for the quiet ones.

Now if SHIELD could just find that perfect quip balance...